Burlington Central on fire in win at North Boone

By Allen Oshinski
Daily Herald Correspondent
Updated 1/29/2016 10:02 PM

To say that Burlington Central's boys basketball team came out on fire against North Boone Friday night would be an understatement.

The Rockets shot 75 percent in the first half, including 67 percent from the 3-point line on the way to burying the Vikings, 88-63.


Ryan Fitzgerald scored 28 points to lead 4 Rockets in double figures in Big Northern East action in Poplar Grove.

Central led 29-16 after one quarter and 52-30 at halftime. The Vikings had by all accounts a decent offensive first half, making 13 of 23 shots, but found themselves down 22 at the break.

Of course, the Rockets (19-2, 8-0) weren't exactly jacking up shots from the parking lot.

"We got the ball in the paint and, whether it was close to the rim or wide open reversal, we knocked them down," said Central coach Brett Porto. "A lot of teams want to get layups, free throws, and wide-open 3s, and we were able to do that. Credit the kids for moving the ball and taking the right shot just about every time down."

The Rockets cooled off somewhat in the second half, but wound up shooting 62 percent for the game. They also made 14 of 17 free throws.

"We've had some pretty good first halves," said Fitzgerald. "It was just unbelievable. We were getting any shot we wanted on offense and we were capitalizing on it."

Zach Schutta added 14 points for the Rockets, including four 3-pointers. Ta Vontae Harris had 13, Luke McCurdy added 11 points and 9 rebounds, and Joseph Ratzek had 8 points off the bench for Central.

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The Rockets raced out to leads of 7-0, 11-3, and 21-7, with their pressing defense creating turnovers that led to either layups or kickouts for open 3-pointers. They made 12 of 15 field-goal attempts in the first quarter and never really looked back.

A 19-6 run starting at the end of the first quarter made it 46-22 midway through the second. The Vikings answered by scoring the next 8 points to get within 46-30. But Schutta nailed 3-pointers on consecutive possessions to end the half, giving the Rockets a 52-30 advantage at the break.

Zac Baden led North Boone with 17 points. Kyle Hoffmann had 15, Griffin Schuster 13, and Skyler Yunk 11 for North Boone.

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